Tesla Cybertruck spotted near BMW’s Munich R&D center

Electric Cars

A photo of a large and conspicuously triangle-shaped vehicle in Munich, near BMW’s Research and Innovation Center, has surfaced on the internet, suggesting the German automaker is doing a teardown of the newly-released Tesla Cybertruck.

Now that the Cybertruck is out, sightings aren’t all that uncommon, especially in California and Texas where most of the vehicles are being delivered.

But one place that Cybertrucks still aren’t common is Europe, where it isn’t sold (and it’s unlikely that the vehicle will ever be sold due to its size and the likelihood that its high and boxy front-end wouldn’t pass pedestrian safety regulations).

So imagine the surprise when a flatbed car transporter was spotted with a covered(-but-really-you-can-tell-what’s-under-there), triangle-shaped vehicle in Munich, just down the road from BMW.

The photos were posted by Nextmove, a German EV rental company that also has an active youtube channel posting information about EVs. Here’s an embed of the video, deep-linked to the portion in question (photos start at 27:36):

The photos were sent in by a viewer who says they were taken on April 4 at around 7:45am on the corner of Schleichheimerstrasse and Frankfurter Ring, coming from the direction of BMW’s Research and Innovation Center. The location is indeed just one block away from several BMW facilities, as you can see in this map of the area:

Now maybe this is all just a crazy coincidence, but it seems quite likely that BMW bought this truck, probably for teardown purposes. Which is interesting, given that BMW doesn’t make trucks (though it does make SUVs).

But despite their lack of pickup trucks, BMW is probably still interested in seeing some of the new technologies that Tesla is working with in the Cybertruck. Despite the vehicle being a… let’s say “statement,” it is packed with a good amount of tech that the automotive industry has been talking about for a long time, but which heretofore has been seen in few or no finished vehicles.

This includes things like 48-Volt architecture and steer-by-wire, and some other technologies that are on some vehicles but still reasonably new, like Tesla’s larger 4680 cell format and Powershare bidirectional charging. Tesla also originally promised to use a unique “exoskeleton”-style chassis, though as the truck got closer to production that looks like it didn’t quite pan out the way we imagined – but we’re sure BMW is interested in seeing what’s underneath that skin anyway.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Cybertrucks in the possession of other automakers, and it is common for automakers to obtain new vehicles from other automakers so they can take them apart and see what the competition is up to.

Last month, a Cybertruck was spotted outside Ford’s proving grounds in Detroit, and reportedly the automaker paid quite a pretty penny for it. Early Cybertrucks sold for almost a quarter million dollars on the secondary market, despite Tesla’s threat to sell early buyers who flip their trucks. So far, Tesla hasn’t followed through on this threat with a lawsuit, but it has blacklisted at least one owner after he listed his for sale, and as more trucks have gotten out, the resale market has cooled from its initial extreme highs.

But then, even that quarter million number could be low compared to what BMW might have paid. In February, a Cybertruck was listed on the secondhand market in Germany for a cool €485k, so either a rich enthusiast wantsa triangle to decorate their garage, or a rich German automaker wanted to be the first to check it out. We hope they learned a lot for that kind of money.

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